By now you’ve read that the Pirates are allowing Brad Lincoln to explore the wonders of Yonge Street and Casa Loma in Toronto in exchange for giving Travis Snider the opportunity to eat at Primanti’s and gape in awe at Fallingwater.
My snap reaction is that I would have loved this trade in 2010 for the Pirates. Taking away the context, the Pirates traded a reliever for a young corner outfielder with 4 years of control left. However, adding in the context that exists in 2012 and I’m not sure this deal by itself is going to help the Pirates make a push for the playoffs. In fact, it may have weakened them for a playoff run in 2012 by taking a key cog away from the shutdown bullpen.
At this point of the season, if a starter gives the bullpen a lead going into the 7th and I know it would be Lincoln-Grilli-Hanrahan, you could get one hand on the Jolly Roger (with some dramatics along the way, but it got done). Now the Pirates will hope that Jared Hughes will step up his game another notch and that Chris Resop can become a dependable “pitch with a lead” guy in the 7th.
With Joel Hanrahan going into his final year of arbitration in 2013 and expected to garner around $7.5M, I was in favor of trading him in the offseason and having Grilli-Lincoln be the 8th/9th guys next year. Does this move indicate that the Pirates may keep Hanrahan for 2013 with that inflated salary?
The Pirates will have Bryan Morris out of options going into the 2013 season, so he will be part of the bullpen mix. He has the fastball-slider combo that profiles as a high-end setup guy. Justin Wilson is moving closer to the bullpen every day and could be a weapon as a power lefty. Victor Black, once he irons out some control kinks, can be a dominant reliever next year, too. Replacing Lincoln moving forward is not my concern; it’s replacing him in 2012 that does.
As for Snider, the Pirates picked up a 24 year-old corner outfielder with power potential that has 4 years of team control. He appears to be very susceptible to lefties, although this year all 3 of his major league homers are off of left-handers. He is not fleet of foot so expect him to be in RF for the remainder of the year. There is also a chance that the Pirates may be viewing him as a potential 1B option, too. He has never received steady playing time in the majors with the Blue Jays, as his career high in games is only 82.
If this trade were made at the Winter Meetings this offseason (with the Pirates basking in glow of a playoff appearance), I would love it. But right now at this time on the edge of the run up to the playoffs, I’m not sure that the Pirates didn’t set themselves back.